Sheer Melody

A mole's eye-view of the Cosmos


And yet again...

Mumbai was rocked by seven serial blasts yesterday. The media quickly termed it 7/11, borrowing from 9/11? Since when did we start using MM/DD in place of DD/MM? In the midst of all this, Rajdeep Sardesai made a fool of himself umpteen times on CNN-IBN. Some amazing quotes from the man:
  • CNN-IBN was the first to report the blasts.
  • More people all over the world are listening to CNN now thanks to CNN-IBN.
Congratulations, Rajdeep! You couldn't have chosen a more opportune moment to pat yourself on your back.

The entire blogging community has been furiously scribbling notes, articles, comments, and posts. Hats off to this site for a continual update.

A rather poignant comment on one of the blogs:
It is 12:30 am here in Bangalore, but I cannot go to bed because there is a man outside the window yelling on the phone. He has been trying to reach his wife and children in Mumbai since 7 pm, and is increasingly getting desperate. I have been listening to him for the past 20 minutes, and his tone switches between angry, anxious and hopeless as he talks to his other relatives and friends. His voice breaks often. I don't know what to do - he is obviously alone, but the last thing he needs right now is for a stranger to approach him with "everything will be alright". It breaks my heart.
Update: It seems this guy has finally been able to track his wife and children who were stranded somewhere in South Mumbai.

Apt description: After the expulsion of Saddam’s forces from Kuwait City in 1991, the British journalist Robert Fisk described as best he could the imperial dungeons, makeshift prisons, and seeping stench of rotting flesh and oil. “Something evil,” he wrote, “has happened here.” Yesterday, something evil happened in Bombay.

Here is the supposed involvement of SIMI in the blasts. LeT of course is the multi-faceted scapegoat of all troubles. I am waiting for Dawood's name to come up as a prime suspect, and a few movie-stars/starlets.

Interestingly, right-wing bloggers in the US, like Hugh Hewitt are linking the blasts with a selfish pro-Bush propaganda. Hugh Hewitt, please shut up. And of course, we have Captain Ed of the Captain's Quarters blog. This commentary has already been dissected by Curious Gawkers, and several others, so maybe this is just another dissection. Interesting glimpses of Captain Ed's erudition:
  • It looks like al-Qaeda or an Islamofascist offshoot has decided to add another nation to its blood enemies. Add India? Really?
  • What motivated AQ to go after India? It's hardly the first country one associates with the West, and many Muslims live within the majority-Hindu nation. So the conclusion is that terrorists only attack the 'West'
  • India's troubles with religious sectarianism (especially with Muslims) go back centuries, of course, and the historical irritants would have been enough for them in any event. Huh!

India has been a target for Islamofascist terrorism, and Bombay has been a target since the 1993 serial bomb-blasts. Quite clearly, Captain Ed has just woken up from a decade-long slumber, discovered India as a developing nation in a curious corner of the globe, and still assumes that most of us go to office on elephants. Sometimes the knowledge levels of some of these Americans is galling, and I can't help but giggle.

Interesting information (though not credible, coming from DNA): “Parcel train mey chhodke sab Malad mey milengey.” [After leaving the parcel on the train, let’s all meet in Malad, a northern Bombay suburb.] Sandeep Singh, a Ghatkopar resident in his mid-20s, overheard this seemingly innocuous piece of conversation between three men outside the Churchgate station at 5.30 pm on Tuesday… According to Singh’s statement, two of the three men had been bearded and were wearing Pathan suits. All three were carrying similar-looking parcels which looked like gift boxes.

Terrible reality by Dilip D'Souza: Suketu Mehta wrote once, and famously, of hands unfurling from a packed Bombay train compartment like petals, reaching out to grab that one more commuter and whisk him on board. Here the metal of the compartment is unfurled like some grotesque petals, side and top.

First-person account: At around 6.20 pm, Shah was on a Western Railway foot over-bridge, crossing from Mahim West to the East, when he heard a loud bang. He looked down to see a train moving quickly beneath the bridge, coming to a halt a few seconds later.
At first, he assumed it was a short circuit that led to the halt. When he took a second look, he saw dead bodies flying out of the Borivali-bound fast train. Blood was flowing like a river all around… he ran down to the tracks to help people trapped in the train. The first class compartment, where the bomb was placed, had been reduced to a tangled mass of metal in seconds… Locals were seen consoling unknown passengers who couldn’t believe their near and dear ones were no more. Some women couldn’t bear the sight and started vomiting on account of the bloodstains on their bodies… “We stopped many cars and Tempos to take the bodies…”.

Compensation news: Although there is no price for a life, The Indian railway minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav, has announced financial help for the victims and their relatives. He said relatives of those killed will get 500,000 rupees ($11,000) each.

It's however quite remarkable and pleasing that there has been no communal aftermath to this: The most recent terrorist attacks in India took place in Delhi, suffered no retaliation incidents, even though all the Islamic jehadis want is a holy war (jehad). What's galling is New Delhi's inability to punish the guilty since time immemorial. On the one hand we have Israel going overboard over one soldier, and we have Manmohan Singh, gawking at Sonia Gandhi in his air-conditioned office, wondering when the next blast is...

And of course, Pervez fucking Musharaff had to condemn the attacks. Huh!

Interesting article by Prof. Sumit Ganguly in Foreign Affairs magazine: Accordingly, the Pakistani government continues to support the insurgents, although more subtly than before. But what the Musharraf regime and its more intransigent Islamist allies fail to recognize is that Indian patience with Pakistani-sponsored violence in Kashmir and elsewhere in India is nearly at an end. Although largely ignored by the U.S. media, bombings during the festival for the Hindu holiday of Diwali in New Delhi last November, in which Pakistani-based groups were implicated, almost precipitated another major crisis, which was averted only by the Indian leadership's restraint. But it is far from clear whether such forbearance could survive another attack. Furthermore, in contrast to the 2001-2 crisis, when the Indian military lacked viable plans for responding to a Pakistani-based terrorist attack, the Indian army is now well prepared to undertake swift and decisive action by retaliating against targets in Pakistan at times and places of its own choosing. Unfortunately, the Pakistani leadership appears to be oblivious to India's growing frustration. Consequently, although another Indo-Pakistani war is not likely, it remains possible."

1 Responses to “And yet again...”

  1. # Blogger EQUINOX

    Yep.. Makes me wonder how long we are gonna take this. Earlier it was other people who were affected. But now we know it could happen to us.
    So you recognize me!! Well the i-flex days were certainly memorable for a lot of reasons. Btw still waiting for part 2 of the story !!!  

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